At least 20 civilians are believed to have been killed by Taliban in rebel stronghold of Panjshir, report says

·1 min read
Taliban members patrol after they took over Panjshir Valley, the only province the group had not seized during its sweep last month in Afghanistan on September 6, 2021.
Taliban members patrol in Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan on September 6. Bilal Guler/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • At least 20 civilians are believed to have been killed by the Taliban in Panjshir, the BBC said.

  • One slain man was arrested on accusations of selling SIM cards to rebel fighters, the report said.

  • The region has long been a focal point of resistance in Afghanistan.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

At least 20 civilians are believed to have been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley, the BBC reported on Monday.

A shopkeeper and father of two was among the victims, the report said. Local sources told the BBC that he would not leave when the Taliban advanced.

"I'm just a poor shop owner and have nothing to do with war," the man said to the Taliban, the report said, before being arrested on accusations of selling SIM cards to resistance fighters.

The region is the final holdout of anti-Taliban resistance since the militant group swept back into power last month. Heavy fighting has been taking place in the mountainous region in north-central Afghanistan between resistance fighters and the Taliban.

Despite Taliban promises that there wouldn't be any revenge killings after international forces were evacuated last month, reports have documented targeted killings.

Meanwhile, Taliban sources earlier in September said they seized the Panjshir, while resistance forces denied the assertions, Reuters reported.

Panjshir has long been a focal point of resistance in Afghanistan. The valley defied Taliban rule in the 1990s and held out during the Soviet Union's occupation, as its rocky terrain and natural mountainous defenses made it historically difficult to conquer.

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